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Siemens Transformers Case Study

Variable Shunt Reactors for


flexible grids
Reduced reactive power and increased cost effectiveness

Challenge
Decentralised and volatile power generation today is nowadays common practice in many regions. At the same time
the fluctuating infeed of solar- and windpower is comes
along with very different load conditions in the day- or
nighttime and on working days or the weekend.
The Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) is covering the
whole power demand of cyprus and is confronted with a
rapid extension of solarpower generation. Unti 2030 nearly 50% of the Cypriot power demand shall be covered by
solar power.
As in Cyprus underground cables are very common, especially in urban areas, already for short distances and low
voltages additional compensation devices are reasonable.
Electric Authority of Cyprus (EAC)
The Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) is the partly
gouvernmental utility of Cyprus. It feeds approximately
6000 GWh annually in the Cypriot grid and is thus covering the complete demand of Cyprus. While the energy
mix of today is mainly based on fossile, the EAC is anticipating a rapid extenstion of solar power.

The Idea
To be able to provide the flexible reactive power needed
today and be prepared for the future changes, variable
shunt reactors (VSR) are the favoured solution. They are
similar in size and only a marginally higher investment
than fix shunt reactors. With their regulating unit they
provide a variable reactive poer and thus allow for a quick
adaption that is always suiting the current need for reactive power.

Shunt Reactor in the test bay and at customers site.

Unregulated shunt reactors can only be designed optimal


for constant load- and generation-conditions. Contrarily,
variable shunt reactors can keep the voltage in the defined
voltage band even with big voltage fluctuations. Having
the best adaption to the reactive power currently needed,
losses are minimized to the maximum. This optimized the
transmission capability of the grid as well as the cost effectiveness and thus rsults in cost savings for the operator of
the VSR.

Both units are now in operation for nearly one year.


We have achieved with this state-of-the-art-solution
exactly what we had planned. The variable compensation of the grid is working excellent. The contractor
Siemens handled the Variable Shunt Reactor Project
in a very satisfactory way fulfilling all of the project
requirements.
Christos S. Kyprou, Project Manager (EAC)

www.siemens.com/energy/transformers

Energyproduction

Transformer

Distribution grid

Consumer

Energyproduction

Transformer

Distribution grid

Consumer

No-load line without


/ with VSR

Energyproduction

Transformer

Distribution grid

Consumer

Energyproduction

Transformer

Distribution grid

Consumer

No-load line without / loaded line


with shunt reactor
/ VSR

Design
For variable shunt reactors an iron core shunt reactors
with air gaps is designed. The iron core leads and concentrates the magnetic flux that needs to bridge the air gaps.
As the difference in permeability of electrical steel and oil
(permeability of oil is equal to air or vacuum) is very big, it
is sufficient to work with the magnetic resistance of the air
gaps when calculating the series connection of iron- and
air-path. They reduce inductivity and increase the performance of this arrangement.
The active principle of variable shunt rectors is based on
the change of the numbers of windings. Therefor the
windings are equipped with taps that allow for parts of the
windings to be switched on or off. For the switching operations the tap changers known from power transformers
are used.
Mode of operation
Cables and open wires are a capacitive load, whereas cables have higher capacities at the same length and voltage
than open wires do because of the dielectric of the isolation coats. When the line is compensated with a variable
shunt reactor, the load of the line can be minimized due to
the capacitive charging capacity and the transmission
losses are reduced.
Bigger issues are the effects of changing the voltage in
dependency of the load at the end of a transmission line.
The capacitive load of the line is leading to voltage exaggerations at the end of the line that can cause damage in
connected assets (Ferranti-effect). When stressed, the
inductive resistance instead leads to a voltage drop in the
line. The additionally added inductivity of the VSR is counteracting voltage exaggeration.

Transfer to other countries


With the increasing power demand and the extension of
renewable power generation, there is a need for reactive
power in many countries. As VSRs need less space than
phase shifters or converter stations this is an attractive
solution for network operators. The cost effectiveness in
comparison to larger grid extension measures as well as
their robustness and low-maintenance needs are further
advantages of VSRs.
Test: Can a VSR be cost effective for your grid?
If you can answer one or more of the following questions
with yes, a VSR might also be interesting for you.
Parts of the grid / lines are facing a change of idle / low
load and load operation
Parts of the grid / lines are regularly overloaded with
reactive power of secondary network operators
There are tight borders for keeping the voltage and acquiring reactive power agreed upon with a preceeding
network operator
In my grid there is a large share of distributed generaion
and / or wind-/solar power generation.
My grid or the conditions of my grid will face considerable changes in future, but I cannot define those changes
exactly at the moment.
I already use fix shunt reactors in different voltage levels
and need a flexible spare unit.
You would like to receive additional information on this topic?
Contact us!

Published by and Copyright 2014:


Siemens AG
Energy Management Division
Freyeslebenstrae 1
91058 Erlangen, Germany
04.2015, Siemens AG

Siemens AG
Transformers
Katzwangerstrae 150
90461 Nuremberg